Book Review: I just want to shoot pictures by Dave LaBelle

by Enche Tjin on December 15, 2009

dave-labelle-bookDavid La Belle self-published book, I just want to shoot pictures, is a straight forward basic photography book for all ages and users of all kind of cameras. This book is not about technical stuff. Dave believes that too much technical stuff will hinder everyone to learn photography. In this 60 pages full color books, Dave squeezes in a lot of information about timing, light and composition.

I think that Dave chooses the right topics for the book. Over the years, I notice that the differences between experienced photographer and beginners are about timing, light and composition. If one masters those aspects, he/she will become an excellent photographer in no time.

Dave is a photojournalist and a teacher, so a lot of images on the book are about candid and humor, which are refreshing to see. Dave shows that if you compose the frame and shoot in the right time, your picture will stand out. Whether you use a $1000 camera or $10 disposable camera won’t matter.

The tone of the book is also very positive and encouraging. It is like a teacher, mentor and a friend directly giving you advice about the craft.

Although the discussion on each chapter is adequate, I feel that Dave should discuss about aperture and depth of field. Dave discussed about shutter speed and ISO briefly but nothing at all about depth of field. I feel that is essential part of basic photography that should be discussed. Furthermore, many images in the book has shallow depth of field. I think beginners would like to know how to achieve that.

Overall, this book is very suitable for complete beginner or someone who want to learn more about photography from scratch. But you might not get many new information if you are photo enthusiasts or more experienced amateurs.

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